Cubs vs. Braves: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 78)

CHC (42-35): LHP Jon Lester (6-5, 4.13 ERA)
ATL (46-32): RHP Julio Teheran (5-5, 3.40 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs sandwiched their losses between two juicy slices of victory* and topped it all with some Javy special sauce to achieve the split vs. the Mets on Sunday. Jon Lester takes his turn tonight in the opener against the Braves. He'll be trying to further distance himself from a run of drudgery (for fans and himself alike). The team last faced Atlanta during the hell week that opened 2019. Lester faced off against Teheran and got a no-decision, pitching six innings and allowing two earned runs. Swanson and Albies tagged him for solo homeruns in that game. Most recently Lester worked his way to a win against the White Sox, going 5.2 and yielding three earned runs. His strikeouts and walks have been fine lately; it's the longball he'll have to avoid to return to form. Freddie Freeman is 6-22 against Lester with two homeruns and ten strikeouts. Nick Markakis has 92 at bats against him and an OPS of .586.

Julio Teheran takes on the task of suppressing Cubs offense. He's a befuddling pitcher. Remember when he was the rumored return for a 2012 Dempster trade that was not to be? Since then, he's slid back and forth between being a one-win pitcher and a three-win pitcher. This year, he's leaning toward the better side of that scale, due largely to allowing fewer homeruns than in previous seasons. Last time out he allowed six earned runs in four innings to the Mets and took the loss. His splits are fairly even this year, but across his career lefties have hit him much better than righties. Schwarber is 4-9 with zero strikeouts and Descalso is 3-12 with a pair of doubles (and Maddon is clearly trying to build him up); I suspect both will start. As a team,

*Laymen sometimes refer to this as the "turd sandwich," but in the biz they call this the reverse sandwich, wherein one puts the bread in the middle. It is the least enjoyable way to eat what is otherwise an ordinary sandwich.

Comments

schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / contreras / heyward(CF) / bote(2nd) / cargo(RF) / lester

Can't wait to never learn what happened between Contreras and Flowers.

while sharing chocolate chip cookie recipies contreras learned that flowers puts walnuts in his recipe and he's just not going to take that crap without speaking up.  he took it a bit too far and said flowers might as well be making oatmeal raisin cookies, so it's all a big mess right now.

also, flowers survived his AB the next inning without incident.

Walnuts suck. Just sayin’

I dub this canon.

I second & nominate Crunch as winner of the internet....

And the one gaping hole in the lineup (insert Descalso or Almora or Russell or Camargo) bites the Cubs in the ass with momentum killing gidp

For my sins, I have to watch the local Braves tv broadcast with Chip Carey and Jeff Francoeur. Not ideal. 

Pro tip to the Cubs: score a ton of runs, then score a ton more. These Braves specialize in pulverizing and bludgeoning teams into oblivion, particularly after the six inning. 

mission accomplished.

also, wow at that 10 mile long leash teheran got to totally suck.

Not the first time Bote has frozen on a catchable ball from Javy at second ... and leads to two unearned runs. Damn. Love Bote, but when you’re playing with Javy, you better expect the unexpected 

if javy has the ball you gotta play like you're on a basketball court.  until the play is dead, no matter what your view is, that ball could be coming at you at any time from any angle.

bote also goofed earlier in the season playing 3rd during a lester start by not knowing how extreme one needs to cover for him.  yeah, technically it should be lester's play, but realistically the 3rd baseman has more range to cover with lester on the mound.

he's not an awesome 2nd, but he's not bad.  i've been a bit surpirsed at how iffy his play at 3rd has been given how nice it was last year.  hopefully he'll adapt to the quirkier stuff.

welcome to the cubs barnette.

6 pitches to his 1st batter, solo HR.

you're gonna fit in just fine.

But for Flowers and the pitchers spot, the Braves lineup is relentless. When McCann plays, the only hole is the pitchers spot. Tough club. 

gonna be in ATL over the 4th and catching the young braves club in person.  i really don't like going to that park (hey, who wants 3-4 hours of the "tommy hawk chawp"?), but i wanna see this collection of kids.

Good deal - much better ballpark experience than at the Ted. Atlanta fans are buying in and showing up. 

Barnette’s 88-91 mph fastball really is, uh, not very special. 

Kyle Ryan playing like a man who wants to keep his big league roster spot - well done!!

It’s a shame that they had to burn Cishek with a five run lead. I guess they could have used Brach or Caratini. Probably not enough time to warm up Caratini. Wouldn’t want to risk blowing the lead with Brach. 

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  • crunch 9 hours 15 min ago (view)

    MLB is very much swinging their power over minor league teams around.

     

  • tim815 9 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Normally, it's because the minor fee they receive is of more value than they think they will be able to acquire later.

     

  • JustSayin' 10 hours 46 min ago (view)

    My, the negotiations for a new comprehensive agreement between MLB and MiLB are sounding nasty all of a sudden!  I'd be interested in other takes on this.  It's easy to see the risks on the MiLB side.  I wonder though, if MLB isn't playing with fire as far as the antitrust exemption goes?  In case Trump isn't president in January, 2021, the MLB owners lose a friend.  We've already heard from Sanders and Warren supporting MiLB on this -- which is pretty amazing, considering how many bigger problems this country has -- and one can guess where mayor Pete stands.

     

  • bradsbeard 17 hours 13 min ago (view)

    I'm also thinking they really didn't anticipate losing two players in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and wanted to have more flexibility to pick guys, and they maybe figured Carrera had a better shot to go unpicked. It is a little surprising that the talent rich Rays are the ones who grabbed him. 

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 5 min ago (view)

    It's just strange because they had space. maybe they thought no one would have wanted him?

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.

     

  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.

    he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers.  he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.

    i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks.  they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 11 hours ago (view)

    Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.

    I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!) 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going. 

     

  • Hagsag 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch.